July 29, 2014

In Which Raia Guarantees It

October 25, 1186

"Hello, stranger." Raia's stepmother winked as she stepped back from the initial hug. "The university's been keeping you busier than usual these past months, I take it?"

"Somewhat." The understatement of the year! A couple of the departments had been butting heads over class times for the 1187 school year, and given the amount of overlap in enrollment, some extensive surveying had been required. At least now the juniors and seniors could serve as teaching assistants and therefore a few more time-slots could be offered. However--the mess would be done with well before spring. She couldn't have hoped Nora would agree to help otherwise.

Of course, she wasn't about to outright lie. "Things do get a little hectic every now and then, to be honest--but it's rewarding for the most part."

"Glad to hear it. I wouldn't want you wasting all of your time on something you hated."

"You and I both."

Chuckling, Nora craned back her neck, eyes rolling couch-ward. "Care to sit?"

God. Did she ever. "Yes."

Raia settled on the nearer couch while Nora collapsed on the other. A more conversational angle. That would do.

"Now, I won't pretend I'm not flattered, but I'm unsure as to why you're wasting some of your precious time off on your old stepmother."

"Nonsense. I have a young, vibrant stepmother." That got a laugh. But hopefully the compliment had stuck in spite of it. "Besides, I won't be long. The truth is, I have a favor to ask, and I believe you'd be the best choice for it."

"Also flattering--but I'll have to hear what it is first."

"Of course." Raia fought back any of the morning's lingering queasiness and drummed her fingers against her leg. Perhaps she was being a little hasty, asking so early, but it never hurt to have the preparations in order. "I'm expecting a baby some time around the end of May, beginning of June."

"Really?" Nora's blue eyes were wide as the sky in the window behind them. What with Raia's career and Falidor's children from his first marriage, she'd probably assumed that they were finished having children--and not unfairly. This pregnancy hadn't been intentional, but at the same time, neither Raia nor Falidor had looked at the other and said 'No more'. So, she would have this one, and if it proved to be all they could handle, then that would be it. "Congratulations."

"Thanks--and since we just sat down, you can hug me when I go," Raia added with a wink, noting Nora's rustling. "The thing is, though, that Ellona is due only a month earlier, so our absences from the university will overlap."

"So you want me to fill in between your departure and Ellona's return."

Kind of nice, not being the one to say it. "Well, I'd have you come in a week or so before I leave to show you what's what, but yes, exactly. Would you be willing?"

"That depends." Nora leaned her way, smirk in place. She'd likely agree regardless, if only for the opportunity, but no doubt she wanted to know what she was getting herself into. "Will whatever nasty business that's keeping you so busy be done with by then?"

Her heart lept a little. Or maybe it was just nausea. "I guarantee it."



Van said...

Probably shooting myself in the foot by announcing it, but I'm rigging this baby for black hair. My game seems to be annoyingly good at passing over black hair genes. :S

As for whether it's a boy or a girl, the game can have its pick--just as long as I get the black hair.

Ekho said...

Haha black hair for the win!

Okay so I love the line 'Nora's blue eyes were wide as the sky in the window behind them.' Full on made me stop and reread it! Such great use of imagery.

This is really sweet, and I'll admit I privately hope its a girl - a mirror image of her mama xD

I don't know if you saw it on tumblr but I spilled drink on my power board the other day, it didn't seem to have any effect on anything but I pulled all the plugs out immediately and have just now replaced it with a new one. SO I haven't disappeared again ;)

Van said...

Yes, I did see that! Glad everything is functional. :)

I do love black hair. Hell, I wish I had black hair. It's black by Pooklet standards, but alas, real life puts it in the "dark brown" bin.

Hair color aside, Raia's first daughter practically is a mirror image of her. Hell, so are both of her sons. XD And come to think of it, all of her kids have her eyes, which is kind of weird since my game seems to have a boner for recessive genes, and Raia has a blue recessive from Alina (Falidor has two blue eye genes).